battle of the sweeteners
March 4th 2021
with sooooo many sweeteners & sugar alternatives popping up on the market these days, we decided to get down & dirty with the top three choices for sticky chai – agave, honey and our personal favourite, coconut sugar – to give you all of the information you need to make an informed choice
how is it made? Is it healthy? sustainable?? Worth it?!? Find out below…..
ROUND 1: agave
dominant sugar – fructose (50-90% depending on concentration)
Glycemic Index – 15 (low)
agave syrup, or agave nectar as it’s sometimes labelled, is derived from the agave plant, which is native to Mexico and the same plant good ol’ tequila is made from (tequila in a cold brew chai & tonic is EPIC btw)
how is it made?
the juice from the cut stem is boiled to break down the complex components. It’s then filtered to remove any impurities and further concentrated, through boiling, to produce a syrup that’s a little thinner than honey & sweeter than regular white sugar
is it healthy?
you’d be forgiven for thinking that a sweetener made from a the juice of a plant is relatively healthy, but in reality agave syrup goes through such an intense heating process that there is no nutritional benefit left – none of the micro-organisms found in the raw juice survive
one positive (kind of) thing about agave is it’s lack of glucose, a sugar used as the base of most energy and gym recovery drinks. Fructose is processed much more slowly by the body which as a result doesn’t cause temporary spikes in energy and/or insulin, BUT regular consumption of fructose is highly damaging to the liver and can quickly convert to fat, so use sparingly!
is it sustainable?
Agave plants bloom only once before dying and in the past farmers let agave plants mature to this point because this is also when they yield the most nectar. Unfortunately, rising demand for agave nectar has put those farmers under enormous pressure to supply enough agave. To shorten growing cycles, farmers are forced to kill plants before they bloom, cutting off an important food source for bats
if you’re just after a quick sugar alternative that gives you a hit of sweetness or you’re looking for a vegan alternative to honey, agave syrup is a suitable choice – a little goes a long way and it is completely vegan
If you’re after a healthy, planet-friendly alternative, however, then this is really not the one – plants are killed to extract the nectar and increasing demand impacting biodiversity. Health-wise, there is ZERO nutritional benefit in the syrup and much debate as to whether regular white sugar is actually healthier
#perth #perthsbestchai #perthsmallbusiness #perthlife #perthchai #agave #agavesyrup #tequila #mezcal #veganchai